Contact O'Dwyer's : 271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471; Fax: 212/683-2750
ODWYERPR.COM > Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter return to main page

Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter
The eight page weekly is the only PR newsletter on LEXIS/NEXIS.
Subscribe today


Jack O'Dwyer's NL logo
Internet Edition, Nov. 30, 2005, Page 1

The Department of the Treasury is preparing to issue an RFP in December for a PR firm to handle part of an education and awareness campaign for the unveiling of a new $100 bill in early 2007. A follow-up effort is also being considered for a new $5 bill in 2008.

Burson-Marsteller helped kick off the new $20 and $50 bills over the last two years as part of a five-year, $55M effort by the Treasury Dept. aimed to foil counterfeiting. B-M won that assignment in 2002 and also handled the 1996 round of new bills.

Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing wants to hear from firms interested in the upcoming solicitation. Tonya Dottellis ([email protected]) is the procurement contact for the Treasury, which has not yet set a final date for the RFP’s release beyond December 2005.

The Treasury Dept. has said it plans to update U.S. currency every seven to 10 years to keep up with counterfeiters. A new $100 was last introduced in 1996 and a new $5 was unveiled in 2000.

The National Assn. of Insurance Commissioners has selected CooperKatz & Co to launch a public awareness campaign to teach people how to select the right policies to fit their needs. Fleishman-Hillard was the incumbent, Ralph Katz told O’Dwyer’s. He said Susan Pralgever, VP-creative services, will coordinate activity for the NAIC.

More than 60 firms were invited to pitch the account. Half did so, and the final four presented at NAIC’s Kansas City headquarters at the end of September.

Public education is a key priority for the group, the voluntary organization of the chief insurance regulatory officials in each state. Fraud also is on the rise due to the skyrocketing cost of health insurance

Dushka Zapata, who was executive VP in Edelman’s Silicon Valley office, has moved to Ogilvy PR Worldwide in San Francisco.

Zapata follows husband and Edelman’s former hi-tech chief Luca Penati to the WPP Group unit. Penati became Ogilvy’s worldwide technology head in September. Edelman had named Pam Pollace, an 18-year veteran of Intel, its technology czar in July.

Zapata is a 15-year PR veteran. She has advised Apple Computer, Synopsys, Ericsson and Symbol Technology.

The Government of India has signed Venable to a $600K one-year contract to provide “strategic counsel and tactical planning on foreign policy matters,” according to the agreement.

Venable will rep India before the White House, Congress and select state governments.

Venable partner and former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh signed the agreement with Ronen Sen, India’s Ambassador to the U.S.

Pakistan, India’s traditional rival, recently hired Hill & Knowlton for PR work.

Neighboring Bangladesh inked a six-month $330K PR contract with Ketchum unit, The Washington Group.

California’s Dept. of Food and Agriculture has issued an RFP for a $500K outreach program to educate grape growers, wineries, educational institutions, media and the public about efforts to control Pierce’s Disease.

PD poses a major threat to the state’s $45B grape business. It is spread by the glassy-winged sharpshooter, an insect that is native to Mexico and the southwest that was first reported in California in ’94.

The state wants to inform the various publics about efforts to eradicate the GWS, and provide information about how state and federal funds are being used.

The GWS is considered a major challenge for the state’s wine business that is under competitive threat from wineries in Australia, Mexico, Chile and Washington.

Bids are due Dec. 21. Joy Mountjoy (916/651-8182 and [email protected].) has information.

Although PRSA leaders have been saying that the issue of proxy voting at the annual Assembly has never been legally examined, treasurer Rhoda Weiss told a Nov. 23 delegate teleconference that the subject was brought up by her “Transition Team.”

“We asked about proxies as part of our Assembly research last year,” Weiss said. PRSA president Judith Phair said a “hypothetical question” was raised about proxies but was not investigated legally.

Said Weiss: “We asked four questions about the future of the Assembly and one was making better use of proxies as allowed by PRSA’s bylaws for those who cannot attend,” she told the teleconference, which had 50 of 283 delegates on it at the start. Another call was scheduled Nov. 28.

Also discussed by the committee was having a

(continued on page 7)

Internet Edition, Nov. 30, 2005, Page 2

The Pentagon’s interminable process to review bids for a lucrative contract to monitor foreign media has hit another snag.

Bidders were notified last week that the process, which began in April, is being delayed because of “internal changes.” The RFP, issued in August after an initial feeler was put out in the spring, is anticipated to be released in late January or early February.

The Defense Department’s U.S. Strategic Command has contracted with The Rendon Group on an 15-month, $8M contract for the work, but decided in the spring to put the assignment out for bid to foster more competition.

The work involves tracking and analyzing foreign press in several languages for coverage relating to the so-called Global War on Terror.

The Pentagon told bidders the new RFP is expected to be for a “non-commercial, cost-type contract,” but declined to elaborate. “This is all of the information that is available at this time regarding the RFP,” the statement read.

The halted solicitation could be a result of a large response to the RFP. To date, 76 companies have responded, from PR services companies like TV Eyes, Delahaye, and Factiva, to large defense contractors and tech specialists like IBM, Northrop Grumman Information Technology and Raytheon. The new call for a “non-commercial” contract could be a move to eliminate bidders offering pre-packaged media monitoring services.

Rendon has 56 staffers working on the account.

Medicus has asked Inamed Corp.’s board to vote against a proposed cash/stock merger with Allergan, the maker of Botox.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based maker of drugs to fight acne, eczema and fungal infections lined up its own deal to acquire Inamed in March to form a combine with $700M in revenues. It will receive a $90M termination fee if its Inamed deal falls apart.

Allergan made its bid on Nov. 15. Using Brunswick Group for PR, Allergan began its exchange offer on Nov. 21.

Medicus uses Citigate Sard Verbinnen as its financial PR counsel. On Nov. 20, Medicus rejected an unsolicited $2.2B takeover bid from Mentor Corp.

Santa Barbara-headquartered Mentor claims its offer is a better deal for Medicus shareholders than the Medicus/Inamed merger.

Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher guides the Mentor bid.

Allen Center, the author of “Effective Public Relations” and a career PR executive for companies like Motorola and Parker Pen, died on Nov. 13 at his home in San Diego. He was 93.

He wrote the textbook (Prentice Hall) with Univ. of Wisconsin Professor Scott Cutlip.

The book is now in its ninth edition and published in several languages.

Robert W. Grupp, VP of corporate and public affairs of Cephalon, Frazer, Pa., was notified Nov. 18 of his nomination as president of the International PR Assn. for the year 2008. He will follow 2006 president Loula Zaklama of Egypt and 2007 president Philip Sheppard of Belgium.

Grupp, who has served two terms on the IPRA board and on its governing council, said he will start to work in 2006 on the 2008 IPRA World Congress in Beijing. He said he intends to collaborate with other groups he has been active in, such as the Institute for PR, Arthur W. Page Society, and PR Society of America. He is a member of the board of trustees of IPR.

Previously Grupp was director of corporate communications at Eli Lilly and Co. and held senior positions at Dow Corning Corp. He chaired the communications committee that organized BIO 2005, which drew 18,000 people from 40 countries to Philadelphia in June.

A graduate of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a BS in journalism, he was an editor and reporter for daily newspapers in Florida and Illinois, winning a National Headliner Award.
IPRA’s 2006 annual conference will be at the JW Marriott Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 22-23.
Theme is “Reputation Management in a Changing World.” Keynote speeches on the first and second day will be by Harold Burson, chairman of Burson-Marsteller, and Paul Taffe, CEO of Hill & Knowlton.

Other addresses will be by Mike Love, senior director of communications, Microsoft EMEA; Jonathan Batty, communications manager, IBM, and John Saunders, regional director, Fleishman-Hillard, Continental Europe and Ireland.

President Bush wanted to bomb the headquarters of Al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite TV network that was critical of the Iraq invasion, according to a report in the U.K.’s Daily Mirror on Nov. 22.

The paper cites a five-page Downing Street transcript of a conversation between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The transcript is marked “Top Secret,” and shows Blair talking Bush out of the attack because it would cause big problems in the Muslim world.

One U.K. government official told the DM that Bush’s threat was “humorous, not serious,” but another source said the President made it clear that he wanted to bomb Al-Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar and elsewhere.

Scott McClellan, White House spokesperson, called the story so “outlandish” that it did not merit a comment. The U.K. government has threatened to prosecute any media (“Official Secrets Act) that publishes details of the leaked memo. Al-Jazerra has demanded a probe into the matter by the governments of the U.S. and U.K. Qatar officials expressed shock at the report. The state is one of the closest U.S. allies in the Middle East.

A U.S. missile destroyed Al-Jazeera’s Kabul office in `02. The Pentagon said the facility was thought to be a terrorist hideout. That strike happened two years prior to the April 16, ’04 conversation between Bush/Blair in Washington that is the subject of the DM story.

Internet Edition, Nov. 30, 2005, Page 3


Brian Fuller has been promoted to publisher of EE Times. The 22-year veteran journalist remains editor-in-chief until a replacement is found. Fuller reports to Paul Miller, who is president and group director of CMP Media’s electronics and software groups.

Jeff Greenfield will moderate “CEO Exchange” when it airs on public TV in March. He promises candid conversations with top executives of Fortune 500 companies.

The initial taping at The Wharton School featured Comcast’s Brian Roberts and McGraw-Hill’s Harold (Terry) McGraw. They talked about “Media in the Digital Age.” CEO Exchange is produced by Chicago-based WTTW National Productions.

Michael Gratz, marketing and research director for Conde Naste’s WIRED, was named research director for AARP Publications.


Sync publishes its last issue on Dec. 6. The Ziff Davis title was launched in June ’04 to cover electronic gear and gadgets. ZD blames heavy competition in the men’s magazine category as part of the reason for the shutdown.

Sync’s 20 staffers will be laid off or shifted to other ZD units. Sync came out every other month with a guaranteed circulation of 250K.

PlanetOut Video will distribute original programming from Q Television, which produces news, talk and variety shows targeted at the gay, lesbian and bisexual community. Launched in September, POV is a broadband service on and

Riot Media Inc. has launched a website,, and magazine for and about so-called “tween” boys.

Riotweb will include news, games, jokes and entertainment reviews. Riot Magazine will include similar content to the website and be distributed at retailers like Blockbuster, Sam Goody and Sports Authority.

Robert Thorne, the marketing guru behind Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, is a partner in the venture. A clothing line, games and other products are in the works.

Quince Media is slated to debut the annual publication Quince Girl on March 1, 2006.

The magazine focuses on the Hispanic tradition of quincenaera, associated with a woman’s emergence into adulthood, and is an effort to bring the tradition to print magazines much the way the wedding industry has done.

Initial rate base is 300K and QM said it will increase its frequency to twice a year by 2007. Newstand price is $5.99.

Content includes products and services listings like gowns, fashion spreads, information on reception halls, clothing, among other material. Quincenaera spending ranges between $5K and $10K per event, according to QM. Amber Matassa, formerly of Bride’s, oversees QG’s editorial team. Sales offices are in Denver, Colo.

Four of the nation’s top news officials met at a Nov. 14 panel to discuss what was described as “an issue of critical importance” among members of the press.

A growing rift between today’s media and political environments has left some wondering if basic rights of the press as guaranteed under the First Amendment could become threatened – and what reforms should be enacted to ensure those rights survive in federal courtrooms.

“At CBS, we never could have released our story on Abu Ghraib without these [unnamed] sources,” said Patti Hassler, executive editor of “60 Minutes.” “It would be harder to do that type of story today.”

Indeed, Bob Woodward’s recent admission that he concealed information for fear of subpoena has left some of the public questioning the credibility of the media and their ability to bring reliable information without stepping into the gray areas of commentary or bowing to political pressure. Members of the media are wondering if the courts will continue to target the press as they have ostensibly during the Valerie Plame investigation, and what they can expect when using anonymous sources in the future.

Public’s right to know

Many see recent subpoenas as part of a growing national trend to limit the rights of the press and ultimately, the public's right to information.

“The promise to protect a source should not be given up lightly,” Hassler said. “We have a responsibility not to release confidential sources or simply to trash someone’s reputation.”

However, Hassler noted that she’s seen a number of reporters challenged to reveal their sources in the past year, and recent figures suggest much the same.

A report released by the Department of Justice shows that 88 subpoenas were served to members of the news media between 1991 and 2001.

Push for a federal shield law

Many members of the press believe one solution would be the passage of a federal “shield law” that would protect journalists and their confidential sources. While most states have some variation of a law that protects media anonymity, these laws are shaky.

Proponents of this reform believe that a new federal shield law would create a uniform, blanket set of rules, while opponents believe that it impedes the court’s ability to put criminals behind bars.

ABC News President David Westin said it’s quite the contrary: a federal shield would make it clear what can and cannot be expected of journalists on the witness stand – thereby protecting reporters, their sources, and the public's right to news.

"This is a time for Congress to act, so everyone knows what the rules are," he said. "Prosecutors should not go after anonymous sources unless he/she truly needs it and has exhausted every option."

Hassler stated that an ideal federal shield law would be “reasonable standards people can agree to.” That is, it wouldn’t be a free pass to allow the press silence with impunity.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, Nov. 30, 2005, Page 4

Playing phone tag with publicists can create a “cycle of guilt,” according to a Nov. 16 Entertainment Publicists Professional Society panel comprised of some of the nation’s top music journalists.

“A pitch in the form of a phone call is always welcome; I just may not have the time to talk,” said James Rotondi, editor-in-chief for Future Music Magazine US. “I am far more likely to return e-mails because I can do it on my time and I’m allowed to prioritize.”

Rock journalists are a common target from publicists with a client in the music biz. Stewards of the music press deal with endless phone calls, stacks of mailed CDs and a morass of e-mails from PR firms trying to get a buzz about their client’s music.

While music journalists say they will always remember a good pitch – publicists with a reputation for harassment are never forgotten.

“I had one (publicist) who would call and leave message after message for any story that came his way,” said Josh Tyrangiel, staff writer for Time.

“I make a note of the person who sends those calls or e-mails,” said Mike Wolf, music editor of TimeOut New York.

“The only time I default on deleting [e-mails] is when I know the publicists and I know that he or she is not going to say anything to us that’s worthwhile,” said David Sprague, freelance writer for Variety and Premier Radio Networks.

According to Rob Brunner, senior editor for Entertainment Weekly, there are two specific types of phone calls that are especially time-consuming and irritating to the press: the “I’m calling to see if I can send ‘blank’” pitch, and the follow-up, “I’m calling to ask if you got ‘blank.’”

“Just send it,” Brunner said. “What it comes down to is, I’m happy to get a good pitch no matter how it comes.”

The panel was unanimous in their claims that there are ways to increase a publicist’s chances of getting their client’s music to stand atop the heap.

Sprague said e-mail pitches should contain “concise, clear information in the subject line.” Any music submitted should be kept in a traditional listening format (re: CDs, as opposed to Mpegs or other forms of listening media). CDs should be mailed in traditional plastic jewel-boxes, and the panel agreed that having a label on the jewel box including artist name, release date and contact information is helpful because it cuts down on a lot of paper-sifting.

Wolf suggested that including a concise, informative press release that gives details about the artist is especially important. He said artist bios should ideally include a fair, understandable description of the music that explains what makes his/her work stand out from the crowd while avoiding "ridiculous hyperbole".

“A reasonably well-written press release is essential,” Rotondi said. "Music genre also tends to be one of the best ways to pitch a band … having a musical movement or some kind of label identity will help editors find creative ways to write about bands and to find other bands.”

Pitch human and local angles, relate a story to the audience, write compelling e-mail subject lines, provide appealing visual images, and follow up gently, a panel of journalists told more than 50 PR professionals at a Westchester/ Fairfield Chapter of PR Society of America meeting in Greenwich, Conn. “Look at the people angle,” said WNBC-TV Westchester correspondent Kendra Farn. “Tell us, ‘Why does it matter to Tom, Dick and Harry?’ It either matters to viewers in their daily lives or it's a water-cooler story – a ‘Wow!’ story.” Farn also requested examples of people affected.

“Give me a really local angle, and you’ve got a story,” said Dima Joseph, morning anchor for WGCH-AM in Greenwich. She noted that the best stories “impact a lot of people and are the news of the day.”

“Doing something good locally” can score air time, said WGCH News Director Jim Thompson. Farn agreed, saying editors seek to balance bad news.

Jim Zebora, business editor of daily newspapers Greenwich Time and The Advocate, said his staff can’t cover every charitable business effort during the holiday season and PR pros with a prior media relationship will have an edge in pitching stories on corporate giving.

Zebora and Dan Greenfield, metro editor of The Journal News, a print and online news outfit covering Westchester and other New York counties, stressed that it’s essential to grab their attention right away with a pitch.

“We get hundreds of e-mails a day, and we form impressions quickly,” Zebora said. “In the first five seconds, we need to see not just a local angle but a local anchor, such as a local company or school.” Warning that he deletes e-mails with mere “local” references in the subject line, Zebora said a subject line must tie a story specifically to Fairfield County, Conn., from Greenwich to Westport.

Locally-geared, enticing subject lines also are a route to Journal News ink, Greenfield pointed out. “Getting your message in a timely manner, in a way that will interest us is critical,” he said. “The subject line is like a headline.”

Visuals ‘make or break’ a story

Greenfield and Farn said appropriate visual images or a lack of them can make or break a pitch and affect story treatment. For instance, Farn explained that headshots of speakers or video of a defibrillator might help illustrate a story on a new Greenwich Hospital wing opening. She said stories without visuals tend to be shorter if they run at all. Greenfield encouraged submission of active, interesting pictures, adding, “The last photo we’ll ever run is one of a bunch of executives shaking hands.”

Following up properly is another key to coverage, the panelists said. They generally suggested e-mailing a pitch and later calling with a gentle reminder.

What not to do? Speakers agreed that nagging journalists, particularly when they're on deadline, is not the way to go. The panelists also advised against sending gifts, mentioning advertising relationships, aiming pitches without researching contacts, and complaining about referrals within a media outlet.

Internet Edition, Nov. 30, 2005, Page 5

Publicis Groupe has acquired a 60 percent stake in India-based Solutions Integrates Marketing Services.

The French ad/PR holding company already has a presence on the subcontinent with five of its units.

Publicis chairman/CEO Maurice Levy, who recently visted the area, said India will be an “increasingly critical” region of the world for the company.

Srikant Sastri is co-founder and managing director of SIMS, which will become a resource to all Publicis units, particularly its global marketing networks, including PR firm Publicis Dialog.

Weber Shandwick has taken its first foray into the Nordic region with the opening of an office in Sweden with Interpublic sister units Lowe Brindfors and Storakers McCann.

Sofia Heidenberg, former CEO of PRfabriken who left in August to run her own firm, is slated to join WS next year as CEO for Sweden. Anders Nilsson, a former Swedish journalist who has worked in advertising and PR since 1996, is chairman and partner. He recently ran Channel 1, which will be integrated into WS.

Storakers McCann CEO Mikael Storakers said clients were looking for PR and cited both experience and an international reach for their PR needs.

Drizen-Dohs Corporate Communications says companies should stick with printed pieces for internal communications, despite serveral digital options like e-mail and Intranet.

The Chatsworth, Calif.-based firm notes print pubs have a long shelf life, can be read at an employee’s leisure, and show staffers that the company is making an investment in its workforce.

Ruth Drizen-Dohs, executive editor for the firm, said clients do ask for online publications, but as a complement to a printed piece.

Carabiner Communications, a Lilburn, Ga.-based tech PR firm, notes that not all organizations need weblogs, despite the current hype.

Peter Baron, principal of the firm, notes the main question to ask that will determine whether a client needs a blog is how the target audience gets its information. “If the majority of the audiences researches its information from online resources and makes purchase decisions based on that research, the company should have a blog,” he says. If the majority is a small demographic, highly targeted or in a tight vertical market, it may not benefit from a blog and should lean toward a traditional integrated marketing campaign, said Baron.

The executive sees blogs as good research tools to collect information on what’s being discussed about a company on the ‘Net.

DPR Group, a tech PR firm based in Germantown, Md., has opened a North Carolina office in Cary. Founder/president Dan Demaree cited an upswing of activity among tech companies in the southeast for the move.


New York Area

JB Cumberland PR, New York/Magikan, trash disposal system brand, as AOR for PR. The firm will guide a one-year, $150K PR campaign.

KCSA Worldwide, New York/ADDvantage Technologies Group, cable TV equipment, for investor relations.

5W PR, New York/Sophist Productions, record label focused on “alternative hip hop”; Dr. Zachary Gerut, plastic surgeon, and PaperBridge, greeting cards and stationary, all for PR.

The Cannon Group, New York/The Renovated Home and sister company The Tribeca Cabinetry Corp., for PR/media relations.

WaxWords Inc., Melville, N.Y./Wachtler Knopf Equities, real estate venture, for PR.

Public i Partners, Princeton, N.J./Antepo, instant messenging and presence management services, for a contract extension to handle PR and marketing.


Leapfrog Solutions, Fairfax, Va./National Women’s Business Council, for revamp of its website following a competitive RFP.

Primetime PR and Marketing, Hollywood, Fla./The Genetic Disease Foundation, to plan its annual gala; Coral Springs Pet Resort, for PR and marketing; Dr. Rene Piedra and Assocs., sedation dentistry, for marketing communications and public affairs, and Michael’s Kitchen, eatery, for PR and marketing.

DPR Group, Cary, N.C./Questcon Technologies, software quality assurance and testing services, for local and national PR.

Marsh Communications, Atlanta/Integrated QSG, employee development services for financial institutions, for PR and marketing.


Chandlergroup, Evanston, Ill./Phonak Hearing Systems, for advertising and PR for its “HearLikeBuzz” campaign, featuring hearing-impaired astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Phonak has been a client since 2000.

Mountain West

JohnstonWells PR, Denver, Colo./Trust Company of America, investment asset custodian, for media relations and other PR work, and Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver, to promote its Home for Good raffle.

Snapp Norris Group, Salt Lake City, Utah/Helius, IP data broadcasting services, as AOR for PR.


Randall PR, Seattle/Armondo’s Cafe Italiano; Maggiano’s Little Italy, and Vine Tales Wine Club.

Neotrope, Torrance, Calif./, parenting publisher and goods marketer, as AOR for PR and marketing.

Bailey Gardiner, San Diego/October 5, developer, for advertising and PR; Sea Country Homes, for marketing its building projects in Southern California; Paseo de Mission Hills, for PR for a luxury condo project, and the College of Business Administration at San Diego State Univ., for an ad/PR campaign for its 50th anniversary year.

Internet Edition, Nov. 30, 2005, Page 6

Democratic direct mail shop JMG Direct and integrated communications firm Group 360 have merged to form a full-service agency in Washington, D.C. ahead of the 2006 mid-term elections.

JMG founder Jeff Gumbinner, has run successful campaigns for Democrats in Congress, state legislatures, as well as Al Gore’s 2000 presidential bid in Oregon and New Mexico. JMG’s work is credited with a key role in Democrats taking control of Colorado’s legislature for the first time in 30 years last year.

Group360 was set up in 2001 by Max Brown, former chief of staff to D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams. It has recently worked for Fidelity & Trust Bank, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and MCI.

Gumbinner said the merger allows his company to continue to provide a high level of service at all levels, “from legislative caucus operations to congressional and statewide elections.”

Coverage of Wal-Mart’s efficient response to Hurricane Katrina outweighed reports of workplace bias and community backlash against the company for the third quarter of 2005, according to Delahaye’s quarterly ranking of news coverage and corporate reputation.

Delahaye president Mark Weiner noted that, although Wal-Mart coverage may appear polarized, with a large volume of positive and negative news, “when we examined, we see that the company’s coverage is fairly balanced.”

General Motors has generated the highest volume of coverage for the past two quarters, but remains as No. 4 in Delahaye’s analysis, which Wal-Mart topped.

Delahaye, now part of Bacon’s Information, said troubled insurance giant AIG was the most improved for the quarter, leaping 40 spots to land at No. 59 on the list.

Wal-Mart was followed by Microsoft, Disney, GM, Boeing and Goldman Sachs. IBM, General Electric, ExxonMobil and Verizon rounded out the top 10.

TLC Industries, based in Schaumburg, Ill., has created a service to tie gaming technology to a company’s brand.

Dubbed Online Onpremise, the service includes a branded gaming website and on-site game console that provides coupon print-outs.

TLC says as customers play the game in a store, they will be encouraged to visit the website when they go home and continue the brand experience online.

Games include two pool simulations, which the company says were selected because pool is Yahoo!’s top online game – 40 percent of gamers on the site play it. Players can compete in regional and national online tournaments with the service.

BRIEFS: Vocus Inc., which markets PR software and is planning an IPO, has signed Prepared Response as a client. The company advises police, fire and other emergency responders on crisis management planning to save lives and property damage.



Sarah Stabile, who ran Stable Relations in San Francisco for five years before attending graduate school at Columbia University, has joined Source Marketing, Westport, Conn., as head of its new PR unit. Stabile earlier was in-house at Levi Strauss & Co. focused on publicizing the company’s brand sponsorships with entertainers. Source clients include Pfzier, AOL and Comcast.

Jenny Love, who managed the Northeast Division of McDonald’s restaurants’ marketing and advertising, to Conover Tuttle Pace, Lynnfield, Mass., as a senior account director. She takes the reins on the firm’s largest account, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Todd Graff, a veteran golf journalist who worked with the firm in managing a women’s senior golf tour event, has been named head of CTP’s golf division. Also, Alyssa Guidara, a seven-year veteran of the firm, was promoted to senior A/E.

Carol Jouzaitis, VP of corporate communications for Orbitz, to Slack Barshinger, Chicago, as senior VP and director of PR. She is a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune and USA Today. Jouzaitis manages the firm’s eight-person PR team.

Allison Leggett, freelance consultant and former director of media and marketing for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, to E. Boineau & Co., Charleston, S.C., as an account director.

Rebecca Hanning, A/E, Momentum Worldwide, to Powers Agency, Cincinnati, as an account manager. Hanning, 29, began her PR career in Los Angeles as an A/C for The Lippin Group.

Leah Templeton, account manager and publicist, GaylerSmith Co., and Jacy Cochran, A/E for Epsilon, to BizCom Associates, Dallas, as A/Es.

Natalie Dent, sales and project manager for Screenlife, to Richmond PR, Seattle, as a senior account manager. She was an A/M at Richmond from 2000-04 and earlier was sales and PR coordinator at the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel. Susannah Peskin, freelance consultant, joins the firm as an A/M. She was earlier an A/S at Fleishman-Hillard in the Bay Area and held posts at GCI Kamer Singer and Burson-Marsteller.


Ann Barlow, partner and senior director for Peppercom in New York, has relocated to San Francisco. Maggie O’Neill, director of events in S.F. and co-manager of the firm’s PepperCommotions practice, has moved to the Big Apple for the firm.

Scott Ward to senior VP, Widmeyer Communications, Washington, D.C. He joined the firm in 1999 and leads its environmental work. Stacey Finkel has re-joined Widmeyer as an assistant VP after a year as director with DBC Public Relations Experts. He was a senior A/M at Widmeyer from 2000-04.

Hope Brown and Elizabeth Weigandt to A/Ss, John Bailey & Associates, Troy, Mich. Both joined the firm in 2001.

Suzanne Holroyd to senior VP, The Vandiver Group, St. Louis, Mo. Nicole Stuever has been promoted to team member.

Internet Edition, Nov. 30, 2005, Page 7

COMM. DISCUSSED PROXIES (Continued from page 1)

spring e-Assembly or webinar; having quarterly delegate teleconferences, and allowing the Assembly to vote throughout the year by fax “as allowed by New York State law.” The committee’s work was not previously disclosed.

On the issue of “making better use of proxies as allowed by PRSA bylaws,” Weiss said that 77% of the 109 delegates who responded voted yes.

“This was part of the discussion at Assembly,” she said. “I wanted to throw this in because we did ask that last year about proxies.”

Some delegates were confused about the reference to “better use of proxies” because proxies have never been used in the Assembly. State law was referenced by Weiss on the legality of voting by fax.

Phair said proxies were not considered last year. “This was a survey that was actually done early this year, and again, a kind of `what if’ question with no legal counsel involved,” she said.

Why a Sudden Issue?

A delegate wondered why proxies were “all of a sudden” a major issue when Robert’s Rules, which forbids proxies in the absence of any state rule on this subject, “has always been the guiding authority” for the Assembly?

“We’re hearing that we’re having a parliamentarian vs. legal counsel issue and it shouldn’t be because we’ve never really had that before,” said the delegate, who admitted “there’s a lot of complexity” to the question. She said she “doesn’t understand the parliamentary procedure behind this.”

PRSA president Judith Phair, who moderated the call, then said she thought the proxy issue had been discussed enough. “We vetted all these issues and got people the information they requested,” said Phair.

“We asked the big questions that had not been asked in the past and so will continue to go forward and have dialog,” she added.

Agenda Will Be the Same

The Dec. 3 Assembly, an emergency meeting to replace the Oct. 22 Assembly that was washed out by Hurricane Wilma, will have the same agenda.

The first two hours will include addresses by Phair on the “State of the Society” and reports by Weiss and COO Catherine Bolton. Time will also be spent on housekeeping details such as adopting the agenda, practicing the electronic voting devices, and approving minutes of the 2004 meeting.

Phair said there will be a break for open discussion at 10:30 a.m. and she wants it “especially” to be on diversity, advocacy and professional development. She wants delegates “to have the opportunity to ask questions about these areas.”

These subjects were also highlighted by 2004 president Del Galloway and 2003 president Reed Byrum and discussed at Assemblies in those years.
The survey of delegates by Weiss and secretary Jeff Julin found that “delegates wanted fewer presentations” by Society leaders, said Phair.

Immediate print-outs of delegate votes will not be available, the conference call was told by Phair in response to a question by a delegate. Names have to be matched with the numbered devices and that takes “some time.” It’s not an “automatic process,” she said. Two weeks was said to be needed.

A delegate said the names of people casting votes should be known in case a measure is re-introduced the same day. The re-introduction must be by someone on the winning side, said the delegate.

Parliamentarian Mark Schilansky said anyone doing this would be asked what side he or she was on and it would come down to “a matter of trust.”

A proposed bylaw would let the five-person executive committee “serve as an efficient and flexible extension of the full board.” There were no questions on this.

More than 120 delegates had signed for the meeting and only 103 are needed for a quorum, the teleconference was told. Article 17 of the bylaws says that changing bylaws requires a two-thirds vote “of delegates present and voting” and that at least half of the total number of delegates “must be present and voting.”

While dues can be set and elections held with a quorum, Article 17 indicates that at least 150 delegates should be “present and voting” to pass bylaw changes. The current view is that votes by proxies constitutes delegates being “present.”

A delegate asked why proxies are needed if a quorum is expected and this touched off a discussion of about 20 minutes on whether proxies are “allowed” or “required” for the Assembly.

New York State law says they are allowed unless specifically prohibited by a group. Robert’s Rules don’t bar proxies if state law allows them. PRSA’s bylaws don’t mention proxies. Schilansky said legal interpretation is needed and he is not a lawyer.

There was some sentiment for barring proxies at future Assemblies. Schilansky said bylaws could be changed at the start of the 2006 Assembly.

PR provides a voice for publics in the management of large, powerful organizations – publics that both influence and benefit from those organizations, James Grunig, Ph.d., told the Institute for PR on Nov. 10.

Grunig, who received the Alexander Hamilton Medal for Lifetime Achievement in PR, said in New York that organizations do not exactly welcome criticism.

He noted that Hamilton believed that large, powerful organizations were necessary because individuals don’t behave in a way that benefits the collective good unless they are constrained to do so.

But Hamilton also believed, said Grunig, “There is in the nature of sovereign power an impatience of control that disposes those who are invested with the exercise of it to look with an evil eye upon all external attempts to restrain or direct its operations.” PR’s job, said Grunig, who is retired from the Univ. of Maryland, is to bring information from the publics to organizations and to help build relationships. “Managements do not always behave in ways that are socially responsible or responsive to publics,” said Grunig.

Internet Edition, Nov. 30, 2005 Page 8




The extensive discussions over the use of proxies at the PRSA Assembly Dec. 3, discussions that have involved two law firms and a parliamentarian, misread the intent of PRSA’s bylaws.

The bylaws call for delegates to be present in person to discuss Society matters and to vote on them.

Article 17 says that “At least half of the total number of delegates must be present and voting” for there to be any change in the bylaws. There is no sentence saying, “Proxies are not allowed.” The founders did not see the need for such a sentence.

Earlier in the bylaws, the Assembly is said to be composed of “delegates who, when assembled as herein provided at an annual or spring meeting...”

Webster’s says an assembly is “a company of persons (our emphasis) gathered for deliberation...”

Article III also says, “The Assembly shall be composed of delegates.” The intent is obvious.
Under New York State law, which suddenly was researched and sprung on the Assembly late in the day, a delegate has the legal right to appoint a proxy and this vote must be accepted.

But leaders could urge members to follow the tradition of more than 50 years of showing up and taking part in discussions before voting.

Since 103 delegates constitutes a quorum (one-third of the total) we figure 155 delegates are needed in Chicago for any of eight bylaws to be passed.

Proxy voting was proposed when there was worry that not enough delegates would show up in person. But the Nov. 23 delegates’ teleconference was told there were 120 confirmed attendees so far; only 50 refusals, and 43 proxies. Should more than 155 show up at the Assembly, it could ask proxy holders not to use them and let the tradition of discussion by those who vote in the Assembly remain intact. Hundreds of non-APRs can now be delegates.

What should be discussed in the Assembly are the pros and cons of switching from printed and online directories of members to online-only, a major loss that has been kept from members since early in the year. The responsibility for this lies with president Judith Phair, the only person allowed to speak for or about PRSA. Blocked from telling anyone but the few members interviewed for the cancellation were treasurer Rhoda Weiss and the PRSA board members who helped her on this issue–Mary Barber, Sue Bohle, Gerard Corbett, John Deveney, Margaret Ann Hennen, Steve Lubetkin and Thomas Vitelli. Members didn’t find out about it until an e-mail Nov. 15. All 20,700 members will lose the 972-page directory while the annual conference, which attracts a little over 5% of the members, will continue to be a main or the main activity of PRSA h.q. Its real costs are not reported.

Another revelation to PRSA members on the Nov. 23 conference call was the existence of proposals to increase the powers of the Assembly. There was no public record of this study, done by the Weiss “Transition Team,” until the call.

Delegates seemed to be venting their frustrations. They considered allowing Assembly delegates to vote by proxy; voting throughout the year by fax (faxes being legal for such a purpose); having quarterly delegate teleconferences, and having a spring e-mail Assembly or webinar. They asked for fewer presentations by leaders at the Assembly.
Delegates, who used to meet twice a year until 1985, want some of their lost power back.

Phair told the teleconference it could take two weeks to compile delegate voting records, matching names with numbers on electronic devices.

Audience Response Systems, which supplies such devices, says on its website that “print-outs by individual” are available “on-site.” Parliamentarians say the devices are meant to be used this way, especially for those who represent constituents such as state legislatures. Phair says she’ll let the Assembly ask for this but she is a member of it and is conducting it as chair. There are many reasons why votes of individual delegates should be public. Since proxies might be used, proof should be available on site that they were voted as instructed.
Another use of technology would be putting audio of this historic Assembly live on the PRSA website. Phair has said that “PRSA seeks to channel the best of current technology to benefit our members.”

Retired PR professor James Grunig, who received the Alexander Hamilton Medal of the Institute for PR for a lifetime of achievement in PR, said principle tasks of PR pros are bringing information from various “publics” to organizations and building relationships between organizations and their publics (page 7). He says PR pros must bring messages even if their critical of organizations.

Grunig’s remarks are in the same vein as those by Bill Neilsen, retired PR executive of Johnson & Johnson, who said that what PR pros bring to the table these days is “character,” meaning “personal integrity, pervasive honesty, insistence on telling the truth.” PR is the “glue” that “holds the whole enterprise together,” said Neilsen.

We also believe PR pros must have the highest character. At the same time, however, we believe they must be approachable to reporters and easy to deal with. Many of the PR pros we dealt with in the 1960s and 70s were characters.

How much actual character they had is another issue. They saw themselves as salespeople to reporters whose job was to entertain reporters and ingratiate themselves with reporters, perhaps influencing stories but at least learning what was on reporters’ minds. This involved a lot of personal contact at lunches, dinners and various events. In the new model for PR practice, there seems to be much less of this. A good academic study would be comparing the effectiveness of the two models.

– Jack O'Dwyer


Copyright © 1998-2020 J.R. O'Dwyer Company, Inc.
271 Madison Ave., #600, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212/679-2471